My Night with Watsky

By Trevor Durham on September 16, 2016

“Feet. Mouths. Hands. If you nasty m*******ckers have em, put them in the air, cause we’re gonna party tonight.” George Watsky knows Florida State without ever having been here, and he knows how to put on an incredible show. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, the young spoken-word poet and rap artist dominated a fast-spitting set in Club Downunder for an incredible leg of his x Infinity tour. Playing a mix of his old hits from Cardboard Castles and All You Can Do, along with his hot new tracks, Watsky gave a show proving he’s a versatile MC and a killer upcomer of a new rap generation.

Photo credit: Brandon Buck

Some may remember Watsky from his old Youtube viral hits, rapping fast over Eminem beats, portraying Shakespeare, Doctor Who, and Edgar Allen Poe in Epic Rap Battles of History, or even his brief stint on Arrested Development. His fans, or those unfamiliar with his music, deserve the splendor and surprise his new album brings, with political bars mixing in with his humor and anarchy.

Up on the stage, the tall rapper jumped up and down in delightfully minimal choreography, moving the audience from side to side and demanding rebellious hand pumps and peace signs. His chopper-style spitting is most remarkable for its crisp quality, even live, where the audience could manage to keep up with his astonishingly quick bars. From his Moral of the Story melody to the impossibly fast Whoa Whoa Whoa, a consistent theme was met with a twisting and turning set that moved the jumping audience through a range of emotions and experiences.

Photo credit: Brandon Buck

What makes Watsky an artist most worth revisiting is his willingness to admit fault and improve upon it. More than anything, he told me that he hopes audiences find he was an honest performer.

Assisting in his set was a full band, with Kush Mody on keys and bass, Chukwudi Hodge killing it on drums, Pat Dimitri shredding a guitar, and Camila Recchio’s incredibly soulful voice serenading over the background of Watsky’s songs. Seeing a rap set with a full band supporting the music made it an even harder party for the venue, something completely unexpected, but obvious once you’ve experienced it.

Photo credit: Brandon Buck

After his huge set, Watsky came off the stage and spent almost an hour talking to every fan, taking pictures and telling stories. It was humbling to see the bright star just laughing over local stories, signing copies of his essay collection, and even beat-boxing for a local rapper as they had an impromptu free-style competition.

Photo credit: Brandon Buck

After we spoke, he opened up about his goals and hopes. Watsky’s songs may be silly at times, but his goals are as pure as his technique is smooth. “I’m just trying to get closer to being the best version of myself as an artist I can, I’m trying to get closer to the truth and my own truth, and, like, not putting out shit because I want to get a certain thing out of it. With every album I think I get a little bit closer to showing who I am as a person. I’m not gonna ever get there completely, but I’m trying to just make a step forward with every project.”

I write some things, read lots of things, and try to spend as much time as possible with food in my presence.

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